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Speed and memory problem

Heh y'all, I recently bought a refurbished desktop , an older Dell with 512 Mb 20GB, Since it is very slow and weak I want to upgrade it. My problem is I don't know what those numbers really mean and I was thinking of doubling it. Can anyone explain what those Mb and GB mean and is it possible to fit the equipment needed into the unit I already have. Help is greatly appreciated. Thank you .
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  1. If you say the model of the ol'Dell, someone here can probably tell you the max ratings on everything you can do with it.
  2. Best answer
    First, let me explain what the 512 MB and 20 GB represent. These are your RAM (Random access memory) and your HDD (Hard Disc Drive). RAM is used as a short term memory slot for commonly used functions. A HDD is used to store Long Term Memory.

    From the information provided, you have 512 MB of RAM and 20 GB of HDD.

    Now for the "nitty gritty" so to say:

    Dells are always VERY tricky when modifications come along. They usually dont play nice with others so to say. You need to check and see if there are more "sata" connections on your motherboard (click link to see an example: http://vermeulen.ca/PICT5306-io-ports-sata-usb.jpg ). If there are extra slots, then your computer SHOULD (as long as Dell's motherboard plays nice) accept a new hard drive.

    As for the RAM (Random Access memory), it depends again, on if there are more ports which can accept a RAM stick (see pic for an example of what they look like: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASRock/775XFire-eSATA2/images/dimm.jpg )

    MB means Megabyte and GB means Gigabyte:

    There are 8 "bits" in 1 "byte". If you see Mb it means megabit, and if you see MB, it means megabyte. 1 mega"bit" is 1/8 of 1 mega"byte" so on and so forth.

    Starting from the ground up.

    There are about 1 thousand (1024 to be exact) Bytes in a Kilobyte
    There are about 1 thousand (1024 to be exact) kilobytes in a megabyte
    There are about 1 thousand (1024 to be exact) megabytes in a gigabyte
    There are about 1 thousand (1024 to be exact) gigabytes in a terabyte
  3. Best answer selected by germaniajim.
  4. you know , that explains the difficulty I have with it, it wouldn't even accept another video card so I could run another moniter, so I will fold this dell project and choose another, you simplified all my questions for me, I am learning this by my lonesome because of circumstance. You were quite helpful, so I thank you lazyperson17.
  5. no problem, let me know if you have any other questions and myself or someone else will happily answer it :)
  6. heh I just looked at a HP unit with 4GB ram and 750GB HD that means this one has seven times more ram than mine and a hell uva lot more HD. I think I've got this now, wow, that machine must be awesome, no waiting for websites to appear or waiting five minutes to log off on that baby. Right?
  7. what model is it?
  8. it is the new hewlett packard AMD Athlon2 with quad core processor with 4gb memory and 750GB HD. That is all I know, it is rather expensive, more than I can afford in one shot. I don;t want to go into debt to buy it. I will continue to hunt around for something more suitable. I am of the opinion that desktop's are the way to go.With laptop's eventually the battery wears out and then you have to leave it at home anyways, at least
    to my experience, which is limited, at best. What do you think?

    Oh yes, the model type of my old dell is the dimension 2100, I can't see any other distinguishing factors on the outside of it, it is a rather smaller unit than others, or should I be looking on the inside for type numbers and such?
  9. it is the new hewlett packard AMD Athlon2 with quad core processor with 4gb memory and 750GB HD. That is all I know, it is rather expensive, more than I can afford in one shot. I don;t want to go into debt to buy it. I will continue to hunt around for something more suitable. I am of the opinion that desktop's are the way to go.With laptop's eventually the battery wears out and then you have to leave it at home anyways, at least
    to my experience, which is limited, at best. What do you think?

    Oh yes, the model type of my old dell is the dimension 2100, I can't see any other distinguishing factors on the outside of it, it is a rather smaller unit than others, or should I be looking on the inside for type numbers and such?
  10. all right. Lets see. Lets see if we cant get you a good prebuilt for the money.

    If you dont mind my asking, whats your budget (including tax)?
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